Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Material
ZP
Cells
9
The Lotus is BIG AIR's medium performance 9-Cell parachute equipped with “Airlocks". Similar in some ways to the PD Sabre, the Lotus is a versatile airfoil that will please both conservative experienced skydivers, and newer jumpers looking for a safe canopy. The rigid feel of the wing is reminiscent of the Jedei, but without the severe “ground-hungriness” or radical turns associated with eliptical designs.

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blueskiesbill

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
everything
nothing

I have waited sometime to give my review as I wanted to feel the canopy out...I was happy from the beginning and that feeling has stayed the same. This canopy has a great glide and is very fast. The turns are quick and snappy and accompanied with one of Brians canopy courses, becomes even more fun!!! Brian has put alot of thought and energy into the creation and production of his canopies and it shows... all this talk about airlocks are this and that ... i love them ... when other peoples canopies are partially collapsing on approach i am flying through without a hitch....(but I still know when to jump and when not to jump....

If you are in the market for a canopy this is def a win win canopy and you will not be disappointed.... Also I anticipate the day (but can wait) when i have the opportunity to swoop his samuri

blue skies!

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ruudwas

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
airlocks, glide ratio, flare
can not demo one in europe

I've started jumping the Lotus a couple of weeks ago...and I'm very happy with it's performance.
Had a long spot and my friend flew a Safire 2...and I just flew right by him...going down at the same speed, but forward speed was much higher. To add to that...my friend was in rear risers and a was on half breaks ;)

Even with a straight in approach you will get a great flare (thus landing) from this canopy. Because of it's high forward speed and the airlocks it has much less to coop with turbulence.
All together, If you want a main that brings you back from long spots and great staged landings without to much hazard and you want to have a little less aggressive canopy you should get an Lotus Max.

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moto89

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Great bottom end flare, awesome flight characteristics, great canopy!!!
Openings leave a little to be desired, but not bad

A few weeks ago I bought a second hand Lotus 130 (custom size) with the Lotus MAX line trim on it. I load it at 1.23:1. I've got enough jumps on it now that I think I can give a fair review of it.

First thing, above all else, is that I am VERY impressed with this canopy. I would agree that this canopy does fly a good bit like the Sabre 2, but I would say it flies a smidge smaller. Everything seems to happen a little sooner in the toggle stroke (flare, turns...) and the riser pressures seem to be a bit lighter. The flare is similar to a Pilot or Sabre2, with great shut down. Landings in no wind can usually be walked out. Add a little headwind and you can easily park the thing in a hover. I have not done any HP landings on it, but the front riser dive up high does seem quite aggressive. It definitely dives faster/longer than the Pilot, and probably a bit more than the Sabre 2 as well.

The only thing that I'm not totally sold on are the openings. My canopy has a pocket slider on it, and I think this is pretty much necessary. The canopy always comes out of the bag right on heading and snivels for a long time, right on heading. Once the slider makes it half way down the lines, the outboard cells "pop" open, and the canopy has a tendency to dive to one direction or the other. It is not an overly aggressive dive which can be leveled out with opposite rear riser, and if you've jumped a Sabre 2 you would probably agree that the opening are more consistent on the Lotus. Ive found harness shifts during the deployment work better for keeping it on heading than rears, and if you're really on top of it it can be kept more or less on heading.

Airlocks.... well, I'm not going to say that this is the reason alone to buy the Lotus. They are cool, and the wing is definitely very rigid, more so than a non-airlocked canopy, but I would not say that it is carte-blanche to go jump in stupidly turbulent conditions. Yes, they do make gathering up the canopy a bit tougher in a windy landing area, but it is no reason to not buy the canopy.

So in closing, if you're in the market for a semi-elliptical or tapered canopy, I would whole heartedly recommend this canopy. It is by far my favorite of this class, and I've got a number of jumps on similarly sized Pilots, Sabre 2's, and Safire 2's. The Lotus is a little quicker and ground hungry than the rest, but it is still very comparable as a middle of the road canopy.

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Mindcake

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
air locks, performance
air locks

I put 100 jumps on a 170 Lotus and also jumped a Sabre 2 around the same time. The Lotus has quicker handling than a Saber 2 but it does not open as slow as the Saber 2 does, that is not to say the Lotus openings are bad they are just chew up less altitude when they open. I have heard people call the Lotus "bumpy" I belive that this is because the air locks are doing their job of keeping the air in the canopy and that other canopies are not as "bumpy" because those canopies have more give in their designs. The only drawback to the Lotus is picking the thing up in a strong wind, man those air locks work good.


Its been 1 year since I flew these canopies but felt I needed more jumps before I wrote reviews about gear.


Jim

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Praetorian

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Airlocks, Solid almost staged opeing flys and lands great
not quite as eliptical as a saber2 so its turns are a tiny bit slower

After 40+jumps on my Louts MAX 170 I'm finally gonna give it a review, as most of my experience is other then the Lotus is on a Saber2 that will be the compairson, first a note I was going to give it a positive review, then I got my breaks adjusted and now I've got to give it a great review, even with my low wingloading I can get a short surf with a normal approach. The opening is about the same as a saber2 (never had a bad opening on either) though the Lotus has a more staged step by step feeling to its opening that I perfer, being less eliptical it also has slighly less desire to turn during opeing. toggle turns are sharp with almost no oversteer, rear riser turns are easy, light pressure and also have almost on oversteer. front risers have a bit more oversteer and at my wing loading build up pretty high pressure pretty quick, it takes a bit more to stall then a sabre2 and while the stall is later it is also a bit sharper, in full glide next to a friend under a saber2 the lotus has slightly more glide in full flight and half brakes (almost identical wingloading both 170sqft mains) the toggle turns on a saber2 are faster but not by much. All in all I think the Lotus is a better novice/intermediate main, I'll keep mine and recomend it to others, if your considering a safire2, saber2, or Pilot, make sure you give the Lotus a look too

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PhreeZone

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Airlocked semi-elliptical, PD built, Smooth flight, Great flare
Large pack volume

I've jumped a Lotus a few times each for for a few years and I find it to be extremely similar to a Sabre2. I personally recommend the canopy as a alternitive to the Sabe2 for first time 9 cell buyers since it has the added benifits of the airlocks.

In speaking to BigAir and PD it seems like the best relationship is formed there, PD sews and cuts the majority of the canopies and BigAir designs them. The CAD templetes on the Lotus/Sabre2 are similar so they fly similar also.

The ride through turbulence in a Lotus is different then on a non-airlocked canopy. The canopy will not accourdion and deflate as it hits rotors. Under a non-airlocked canopy you might not feel anything since its your parachute thats dancing all around the sky and might collapse if it gets too bad, but on an airlocked canopy you might feel more of the motion since the canopy is remaining solid the whole time.

The Lotus is no more twitchy then a Sabre2. If you are used to something like an Icarus control range you will probaly find all the PD and Big Air canopies twitchy since they respond to less input then other manufactor's designs.

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johnny1488

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 2
Airlocks if you want them
Twitchy and scary at least to me

I demoed a lotus 190 when Brian Germain was at the ranch. I have never been so scared in all my 360 jumps. Opened fast and hard. Tried some flares and the sweetspot seemed high but good enough. Went to do a toggle turn down to my waist and after 180 degrees it tried to collapse on itself. Even minor turns and braked turns felt twitchy. I spent the rest of my 5000' hoping I would make it to the ground. I respect Brian Germain very much as he was very willing to share his wealth of knowledge but his canopies are not for me.

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nicknitro71

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  • 1
None
Price, hard openings, bumpy rides

I demoed a Lotus 150 at Rantoul. I jump a Hornet 150. The opening was so hard that I got brused and I also had a line twist. Of course at Big Air thay blamed my body position even though I got stable for 1500' and de-arched! The ride was bumpy, very, very bumpy. Air locks? Holly crap! This is by far the most unstable canopy I have ever jumped, ever. The toggles and risers pressure were similar to my Hornet with a bit more pressure on the rear. Plenty of flare during landing that in turn was the only fine part of the ride. Bottom line: save big bucks and get a Hornet.

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phillipabell

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
air-lock, handles well, great landings
price

Demo'd a lotus 190 in Colorado. I usually fly a triathalon 190. The lotus is a terrific canopy. I found that it's not quite as responsive under rear riser as my tri (lotus has 9 cell and tri has 7), but it is more responsive under toggle. Initial bag deployment was a bit of a jerk, but it sniveled nicely and opened softly on heading. The airlocks make for GREAT smooth turns, since the wing doesn't deform. I stood up the landing on the first jump - never done that before, it usually takes me 3-5 jumps under a new canopy to stand up. The lotus lands beautifully. One thing I'm not used to - the canopy doesn't deflate immediatley on landing, but Brian has some tricks for doing this. This is the ONLY square airlock on the market and it will probably be my next canopy. The cost makes it a little hard to justify. I just bought a complete used rig with cypress for $2100. A new Lotus 190 canopy by itself is $2050. Overall, I give it the highest marks. The Big Air team should be proud of this canopy.

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dsiegel

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  • 5

Your first canopy should be one that keeps you safe while you learn to flare properly and prepare for even more fun canopies in the future. Your first canopy should be fun, but not TOO fun, because you want it to stay over your head during landings, no matter what you do.

I think it only comes down to two canopies: the Sabre 2 and the Lotus. I looked at both very carefully. I got a demo Lotus and I've been flying Lotuses ever since. The Lotus is very similar to the Sabre 2, but it has air locks, a feature that gives you MORE lift during your flare. Lift is good. The Lotus is also more rigid and won't tend to "let you down" during turbulence as much.

Brian Germain has me as a customer -- I bought TWO lotuses and I love them. I now have over 40 jumps on Lotuses. The openings are beautiful and the landings have the best lift I've experienced in a square.

If you don't jump that often, you can downsize this canopy and have a great time with it. If you jump every weekend, the Lotus will give you all the safety you need for your first 300 jumps, until you're ready to go to a Samurai.

Ask anyone who flies a canopy with air-locks: they make a difference! The Lotus canopies are made by and inspected by PD in DeLand -- giving you the best of both worlds: Brian Germaine's design and PD manufacturing quality.

Compare before you buy -- the Lotus is the best canopy in the world for people learning to fly. Go to www.bigairsportz.com and see why I'm a long-term customer.

Note: I paid full retail for my canopies, this is not a paid ad but rather a testimonial from a die-hard fan!

David Siegel

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cousindave

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Great in turbulence, soft openings, extremely soft landings!!
Slightly off heading openings

This is the best canopy I've jumped for it's slot in the marketplace. It's similar to the Sabre 2 in general, being a little eliptical. The turns seemed about the same as well as the landings, but the steadiness in rough air was the big difference. The airlocks really do their job keeping the wing from jelly-fishing. Brian showed me a cool way of grabbing it after landing to make it easier to carry in. Basically, you pull the front risers in about two feet before pushing the slider back op. This keeps the canopy pointed into the wind, and keeps it from dragging you all over the place. These guys have their shit together!

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BrianSGermain

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  • 5

If you are on the market for a square 9-cell, look no further! The Lotus is a great performer, especially in the flair. The airlocks add a whole bunch of security in turbulence as well. The glide is similar to the Sabre 2, as were the landings. Very fun canopy for the intermediate pilot!

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